Australia v Bangladesh, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 31, 2014

Pride at stake for underachievers

Match facts

April 1, 2014
Start time 1530 local (0930 GMT)

Big Picture

Two teams down on their luck will meet in Dhaka with only the faint hope of regaining some pride after swift elimination from a tournament that should have promised more for each. As hosts, Bangladesh were expected to offer something more substantial than their struggle to get into the main draw and floundering displays once in it. As pre-event favourites, Australia have disappointed every bit as much, leaving plenty of questions to be answered about their approach to Twenty20 and perhaps the quality of the Big Bash League that is meant to be the team's proving ground.

Mainly, the match will offer several fringe performers the chance to regain some confidence from their teammates, coaches and selectors, while more established players will hope to end on a more edifying note than the hefty losses to India and Pakistan.

Bangladesh have only ever defeated Australia once in any format. A home match on a tired pitch against opponents eager for home might just be the opportunity they have been seeking.

Form guide

(most recent first)
Bangladesh LLLLW
Australia LLLWW

In the spotlight

While Shakib Al Hasan can be expected to provide the major spin threat for Bangladesh, he will need support to ensure Australia are kept in check. Abdur Razzak thus looms as a worthwhile inclusion and an operator capable of tightening the innings. Razzak has unhappy memories of facing Australia in Dhaka, when in 2011 Shane Watson took him and many other teammates to the cleaners towards a world record tally of sixes while clumping 185* in an ODI. He will hope to make amends this time around.

Speaking frankly after the abject loss to India, George Bailey said it had been the worst loss of his T20 captaincy. Another to Bangladesh could well signal the end of his time in the role, given that the next tournament is some years away and the precocious Steve Smith is showing himself to be a gifted leader ideal for captaincy grooming in the shortest format. Like David Warner and Shane Watson, Bailey's batting has been a long way short of expectations, and he will need to give the selectors something to recall when they meet to name Australia's next T20 combination later in the year.

Team news

Australia may shuffle their resources in this final match, with the younger Nathan Coulter-Nile a likely inclusion. Dan Christian may also be granted a chance.

Australia (probable) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Brad Hodge, 7 James Faulkner, 8 Brad Haddin (wk), 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 11 James Muirhead

Bangladesh have lost Mashrafe Mortaza to injury - 18-year old Taskin Ahmed replaced him in the squad - and given Australia's struggles so far can be expected to load up even more than usual on spin.

Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Anamul Haque, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Sabbir Rahman, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Ziaur Rahman, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Sohag Gazi, 11 Al-Amin Hossain

Stats and trivia

  • Apart from knockout events, Australia have never lost every match at an ICC tournament in which they have competed
  • Bangladesh's only victory over Australia in any format arrived in an ODI at Cardiff in 2005


"We have to be motivated. I think for me personally, the motivation is - I don't like losing, personally. As a team we, don't like losing. I don't like my performance in this tournament. I haven't got five runs."
Shane Watson describes his mindset entering Australia's final match

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here